INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PROJECT Management
A project is “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result” (Schwalbe, 2014, p. 4). A project has a definite beginning and end with a specific objective, and often with minor goals along the way to its main objective. The project ends when its objectives are attained or it is ended. A project can be so small that involves a single person for a single day or it can be so large that involves thousands of people for years. The attributes of a project are so broad that there are probably thousands of projects right now in hundreds of industries. In Information Technology, projects can use hardware, software and networks to achieve its objectives. An IT project can be as small as developing a new software application or tweaking existing internal software or as large as programming a whole new software system. Some types of IT projects are: Google’s project to develop a driverless car; a university upgrading its IT system so everyone on campus can have internet access; a company’s IT department’s development of applications in its internal software for use by its marketing department; and Apple, Inc.’s development of new applications for use on its smartphones.
2. The execution of a project is constrained and limited in various ways. Explain what is meant by the triple constraint. 200 words
The triple constraint on a project consists of: scope; time; and cost (Schwalbe, 2014, pp. 7-8). In order to have a successful project, the project manager is supposed to know all three of these key constraints very well, convey them to the stakeholders and monitor them. Scope means the expected objective, the work that must be done to attain the objective, and all the other functional aspects of a project. Time means the total time it will take to complete the project, the timetables along the way, how teams will track their performances on the timetables and who can alter the timetables. Cost means the amount of money needed to complete the project and includes the costs of resources, labor, risk estimates, bills of materials, etc. These three constraints are present in any project, often compete with each other and adjusting one constraint always affects the other constraints. For example, if the scope of the project becomes greater, then the time and cost of the project will become greater. Sometimes the effects of a change in one constraint on the other two constraints are more complex but the rule of thumb is that changing one constraint will affect the others.
3. Discuss several advantages that modern project management techniques provide to an organization. 200 words
A number of organizations claim that modern project management techniques provide numerous advantages, such as: better control of monetary, physical, and human resources; better customer relationships; shorter development periods; lesser costs and better production; greater quality and more dependability; greater profit margins; improved internal management; affirmative influence on meeting deliberate goals; and greater worker morale (Schwalbe, 2014, p. 4). Modern techniques provide better control of monetary, physical, and human resources because it involves focused planning considering all three constraints, careful monitoring of progress and timely, necessary adjustments along the way toward completing the project. Ideally, there are sufficient monetary, physical and human resources with little or no waste. There are better customer relationships because the customer is better informed of the plans, progress and any adjustments along the way, and can give greater useful input into the project’s objectives and methods for achieving those methods. There are shorter development periods because planning is more focused, knowledgeable and thorough from the start, and can be adjusted as necessary along the way. There are lesser costs and better production because of careful planning from the beginning, monitoring and necessary adjustments to achieve the objectives in the most efficient, cost-conscious way.
4. Project management is guided by key competencies that project managers must develop. Describe seven of the 10 project management knowledge areas discussed in the textbook. 200 words.
The ten project management knowledge areas are: scope; time; cost; quality; human resources; communications; risk; procurement; stakeholder; and integration (Schwalbe, 2014, pp. 11-12). Scope management means the manager must define and control all the required work for successfully completing the project, by planning, controlling the project along the way, and closing the project to ensure it delivers the desired objectives. Time management means measuring the time needed to complete the project, including the entire schedule and timetables. Cost management means making and controlling the project’s budget. Quality management means safeguarding that project activities required to design. plan and carry out a project are efficient for meeting the project’s goals. Human resource management means the manager uses people in the project, by organizational planning, staff acquisition and team development. Communications management means the manager generates, collects, disseminates and stores all the necessary project information, by determining who needs information, what the information is, when it’s needed; and how it will be communicated. Integration management is the overarching manager knowledge area that incorporates and coordinates all the other knowledge areas in a project. Here, the manager might make trade-offs among competing interests, coordinating all to see that the project is successfully completed.
Schwalbe, K. (2014). Information technology project management (Rev. 7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
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